When the stork carries a pink slip
New York Times, March 30, 2009
The national layoff tsunami is swamping even households with new infants, or babies en route. But it is entirely legal to lay off a pregnant woman or a woman on maternity leave, as long as the employer can make the case that she is being let go for a reason unrelated to her pregnancy. It is illegal to dismiss someone or refuse to hire her specifically because she is pregnant, according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Aside from such blatant discrimination, pregnant women have no special protection under federal employment law, says Elizabeth Grossman, a lawyer for the New York district office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.